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The ways in which increases in sport and physical activity participation

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Introduction

This essay will cover the topic ways in which increases in sport and physical activity participation have been targeted in the UK; “Every individual is unique and so could be said to have unique leisure requirements” (Veal 1994). There is going to be a three different parts to this essay that are going to raise different issues. Firstly by outlining the key arguments for targeting increasing participation in sport and physical activity. Secondly there will be information about the various bodies that try to influence sports participation.

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Lastly the impact of trying to trying to increase sports participation on target groups, this is the section of this essay where facts and figures can be found.

Key Arguments

There has been a discovery that with children in the UK obesity is becoming a common problem, but also that through sporting clubs and physical activities in sport this could be a way to reduce this problem, thus making the UK a more health and active nation.

“Participation in Sport and physical activity in the UK is lower than it could be, Sport: only 46% of the population participate in sport more than 12 times a year, Physical activity: only 32 % of adults in England take 30 minutes of mode rate exercise five times a week”. (Game Plan, 2002).

As well as the reason above there are some more arguments for increasing sports and physical participation and these are that sport stimulates the economy, but also when it is promoted through education sport can be used as practical way of learning. Also there is some evidence that shows that there is a direct link between sport and a reduction in anti social behaviour. (Cater, P 2005).

There is an issue called social exclusion and this is  “A shorthand label for what can happen when individuals or areas suffer a combination of linked problems such as unemployment, poor skills, low incomes, poor housing high crime environments, bad health and family breakdowns” (Social Exclusion Unit 1999).

There are some key groups of people that are being target in order to meet this aim of increasing participation in sport and physical activity; these are the disabled, ethnic minorities, women, the unemployed, ex offenders and those in poverty. There is a simple reason to why these groups have been targeted, due to the fact that these groups considered too be more at risk of social exclusion.

You might be thinking why is sport being used to try to combat social exclusion? There is a simple answer to this according to DCMS and CCPR, “there is a widespread belief among political leaders in the role of sport as a means of combating social exclusion” (CCPR 2002). This quote shows that there has been evidence that sport can reduce people having the problem of social exclusion.

The reason for this is that with sports and physical this usually involves joining a club this means that people will get to know different people, in most cases these clubs have a friendly and healthy atmosphere to them. There are positives and negatives with mainly targeting these groups of people, the main positive is that this will get people involved in physical activity and sport, thus making their lifestyles more healthy but also enjoyable.

On the other hand with the current government spending cuts particularly in education, you are in danger of letting people who are already participating slipping through the net as such, this means that with a large percentage of children do the majority of their sport in their school, with spending cuts this isn’t going to be possible.

(http://www.laxpower.com/common/ParticipationRates2006.php)
You can clearly see from the above table that participation in most sports in high schools, has increased, however when the government spending cuts come into play schools aren’t going to be able to afford to run all these sports, thus resulting in less participation in certain sports.

Various bodies that try to influence sports participation

The sports and physical activity industry is massive in the UK alone, there are many different bodies who are involved in the delivery of this. But these bodies also work on different levels, in all there are three levels: National, Regional and Local. As well as these levels there are three types of businesses that run these businesses, and these are businesses in the public, private or voluntary sector.

This diagram shows all of the different None Department Public Bodies: (Game Plan 2002)
As is made clear from the diagram above there are loads of different bodies involved in sport and physical activity in terms of its delivery, however the main ones are, UK Sport and this company looks at the performance of elite athletes, they get their funding from the national lottery. The next body is Sport England, this company is the many funding for England’s sport and physical activity, with this body distributing funds mostly to the regional level. However they do directly fund some local areas such as local sport clubs.

This makes them a body that is trying to increase sports participation simply because with out the grass routes level it would be impossible to increase participation in sports and physical activity. However it isn’t just the main bodies that are responsible for trying to influence sports participation this is also the responsibility of everyone who is involved I the delivery of sport.

In terms of the initiatives that are now taking place, to try to get involved in sport and physical activity, this is free swimming in sport centres for over 60’s and under 16’s. This initiative was created by Sport England and was successful for getting 18 million people using this scheme. On the other hand a major negative of this initiative is that the plan has had to be scraped from the end of “July as part of government cuts” (BBC Online 2010). It is unknown how many of these 18 million people who used this initiate how many of them are still swimming.

Another initiative is bring sport to the doorstep of the disadvantaged communities; this has involved the development of a partnership between Sport England and StreetGames, this is being used as a method of making sport and physical activity available to those people who suffer from social exclusion.

“That’s why StreetGames is so important. By bringing sport to the doorstep, StreetGames opens up new routes for national governing bodies and other sports providers to make lasting connections with young people and unleash their sporting potential.” (Lewis R 2010).

This quote shows that partnerships between big bodies such as Sport England/UK Sport and small bodies such as StreetGames could be the way forward, in tackling the problem of participation.

“It is a plan to get more people taking up sport simply for the love of the sport; to expand the pool of talented English sportsmen and women; and to break records and win tournaments for the country” (DCMS 2008).

The above quote shows a initiative called playing to win, in terms of why is this initiative being used there are a few reasons, firstly with getting more people involved in sport and physical activity this should increase the competition for elite performance in the England, thus making us a more successful nation in the future.

There are loads of other initiates far too many to write about individually, one of the best known ones is Game Plan, this is a document created by the government in 2002 and outlines that aim for sport and physical activity until 2020.

In terms of why these initiatives have been brought into place is simple in terms of their primary aim being to target people who aren’t taking part in sport for various different reasons, such as time, cost and poor supply of facilities.

These initiatives have been targeting the people that most commonly don’t take part in sport and physical activity, they are allowing them to take part by in most cause the activities being brought to them, or through free coaching sessions in schools. Another reason that these initiatives have been put into place is due to research conducted by Central Council of Physical Recreation where it shows direct links between: Sport and crime prevention

Sport and health
Sport and education
Sport and social cohesion
Sport and regeneration
As well as this by targeting people who aren’t participating in sport and physical activity, this means that if these people start participating then targets have a great change of success. However these initiatives are just targeting people who aren’t participation but those who are, and want to improve or take on more coaching.

There is also something whereby the ECB (English Cricket Board) are encouraging young cricketers aged 16-18 to become coaches, in order to help with the delivery of sport. This gives added responsibility to individuals but also local small club the opportunities to have more volunteers thus increasing the stature of their club by have more youth coaching.

Impact of trying to increase sport and physical activity on target groups

It is very well trying to increase participation in sport however for this to be possible there has to be sufficient funding, and with the current government spending cuts, this could make the task of increase participation in sport and physical activity more difficult.

“The study of the effective management of cash flows by sports organisations in pursuit of their organisational objectives” (Beech J and Chadwich S 2004), this shows a definition of sports finance this is one of the most important factors because without funding targeting these hard to reach areas would be impossible.

Once a month, moderate intensity sport participation
APS2 (0ct 2007-Oct 2008)
Rolling 12 months (Apr 2008-Apr 2009)

Sport England NGB 09-13 Funded sports
%
Base
%
Base
Statistically significant change
Swimming
12.14%
191,324
12.02%
192,210
No Change
Cycling
8.56%
191,324
8.61%
192,210
No Change
Football
7.38%
191,324
7.22%
192,210
Decrease
Athletics
4.91%
191,324
4.99%
192,210
No Change
Golf
3.71%
191,324
3.60%
192,210
Decrease
Badminton
2.23%
191,324
2.26%
192,210
No Change
Tennis
2.22%
191,324
2.23%
192,210
No Change
Equestrian
1.01%
191,324
0.97%
192,210
Decrease
Squash
1.17%
191,324
1.18%
192,210
No Change
Cricket
0.99%
191,324
0.97%
192,210
No Change
Sailing
0.43%
191,324
0.40%
192,210
Decrease
Basketball
0.76%
191,324
0.73%
192,210
No Change
Rugby Union
0.75%
191,324
0.65%
192,210
Decrease
Mountaineering
0.48%
191,324
0.50%
192,210
No Change
Dance Exercise
0.45%
191,324
0.38%
192,210
Decrease
Snowsport
0.43%
191,324
0.39%
192,210
Decrease
Netball
0.44%
191,324
0.42%
192,210
No Change
Table Tennis
0.33%
191,324
0.34%
192,210
No Change
Hockey
0.37%
191,324
0.35%
192,210
No Change
Canoeing
0.25%
191,324
0.25%
192,210
No Change
Weightlifting
0.31%
191,324
0.30%
192,210
No Change
Boxing
0.31%
191,324
0.33%
192,210
No Change
Gymnastics
0.28%
191,324
0.22%
192,210
Decrease
Rowing
0.19%
191,324
0.15%
192,210
Decrease
Volleyball
0.20%
191,324
0.19%
192,210
No Change
Rounders
0.17%
191,324
0.17%
192,210
No Change
Rugby League
0.32%
191,324
0.25%
192,210
Decrease
Taekwondo
0.07%
191,324
0.08%
192,210
No Change
Fencing
0.06%
191,324
0.05%
192,210
Decrease
Judo
0.05%
191,324
0.05%
192,210
No Change
Baseball & Softball
0.05%
191,324
0.04%
192,210
No Change
Orienteering
0.03%
191,324
0.03%
192,210
No Change
Waterskiing
0.03%
191,324
0.03%
192,210
No Change
(Sport England)
The above table clearly shows that in most sports there hasn’t been any increase in participation in terms of people taking part once a month for moderate intensity, in sports that are funded by National Governing Bodies.

(Sport England)

The chart above shows the active people survey for 2006, in relation to participation in certain areas of the UK, it this is compared to the table below which shows participation from the very first Active Person Survey in 2006, to the lasted figures from June and July for 2010.

(Sport England)

It is clear that the figures in terms of people actually participating in sport and physical activity have largely been increasing however there was a slump between 2007 and 2008. This chart also shows the target that the government has set for 2012/2013 this stands at 7,815,000, this means that an increase of 800,000 in 3 years would have to happen.

The figures presented in the above shows that the different initiatives in the whole are working simply because participation levels are on the whole increasing, this is largely down to the nature of the initiatives, when they are targeting these hard to reach groups and bring sport and physical activity too them.

There is an argument that in terms of individual sports these initiatives creating all of the success a good example of this is cricket with both the men’s and the women’s team being very successful over the past few years, with the male cricketers winning the ashes back in 2005, and winning the ICC 20/20 world cup in 2010. But also with the female team holding all the major trophies in the sport the ashes, 50 over world cup and the 20/20 world cup.

(Sport England 2009)

It is clear that there has been a steady increase in all areas in terms of male and female cricket, and this only really started after 2005 when both the National teams started to become more successful. This shows that initiatives can’t just work on their own, local clubs have to be able to meet the demands of their consumers. “Arguably the most crucial factor in the operation and survival in the UK is the sports clubs” (Watt, D 2003). This shows that without the infrastructure already present in amateur sport clubs these targets set but the government couldn’t be achieved no matter how many initiatives are used.

Conclusion:

There are loads of different ways in which sport and physical activity have been targeted in the UK; lots of them are included in this document. Some of the main positives about this potential increase is that it will make England a more active and health country. Also with more people taking part this should in the long term created better elite athletes.

“Guide play development play and recreation opportunity are needed for all children, but children have no voice in the decision making process” (Torkildson G, 2005)

This quote shows that in schools children have very little choice about the sports they want to take part in if this was changed then this should result in children having higher satisfaction rates through sport and physical activities thus making them want to take part more. Simply because if you enjoy something then people are more likely to get involved and participate more.

Cite this The ways in which increases in sport and physical activity participation

The ways in which increases in sport and physical activity participation. (2016, Jun 25). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/discuss-and-evaluate-the-ways-in-which-increases-in-sport-and-physical-activity-participation-have-been-targeted-in-the-uk/

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